Liberty Is No War on Women

Here’s a book I wanted to bring to your attention. The description from Amazon:

The Left has accused supporters of limited government of waging a “War on Women.” In Liberty Is No War on Women, Lukas and Schaeffer take this charge apart. They demonstrate that liberals’ recipe for ever-bigger government backfires on women by eroding opportunity and true financial security, and explain how returning power to the people is the real key to women’s freedom. As Lukas and Schaeffer conclude, the “War on Women” rhetoric is fundamentally insulting to independent women and should be soundly rejected by all Americans.

Salvo had an interview with Ms. Carrie Lukas a while back. It’s well worth your time.

In the chapter “The Myth of Having It All,” you examine why it is that some women have been deceived—or have deceived themselves—into thinking they can have both a career and a strong family. Are these expectations the result of our culture actively promoting female supremacy?

Certainly much of the culture creates unrealistic expectations and a sense of entitlement. But the problem women face is that we often have conflicting desires. I talked to a lot of college women in the course of writing my book, and it was very common for these intelligent and ambitious young people to tell me that they expected to be both full-time moms and CEOs of major companies. Now, I’m not saying that no woman can accomplish both of these goals, but she’s going to have a tough time doing so. Often, “women’s studies” classes and groups like NOW [National Organization for Women] make it seem as though the problem women face in balancing work and family is caused by bad public policy or men who won’t do their share of the housework. But the real problem is simply a consequence of being human: We can’t be two places at once, and there are only 24 hours in a day. This means that we are going to face tough decisions and real tradeoffs when allocating our time.

Consequences of Legalizing Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman, and it is simply not possible to foresee the consequences of tampering with such an ancient and enduring institution.

The most significant ramifications of the Supreme Court opening the door for the federal definition of marriage to be changed would probably be long-term and should be measured in terms of centuries not years. It is simply not possible to foresee all the long-term consequences that could arise from tampering with such an ancient and enduring institution as marriage.

Having said that, one possible consequence that could come fairly quickly, however, in the area of paedophilia. A California Bill was recently put forward to prohibit giving a minor therapy to change his or her sexual orientation, even if the minor requests it. Republicans wanted to add an amendment specifying that, “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation” but Democrats defeated the amendment. Rep. Alcee Hastings justified this by saying that all sexual lifestyles should be protected under the Bill. (Read more about this in the article ‘Pedophilia Is A Sexual Orientation Under CA Bill?‘)

Let’s take the Democrats logic one step further. Once we legalize same-sex ‘marriage’ on the grounds that its prohibition represents discrimination against a certain orientation (namely homosexuality), then it will be hard to argue against those who suggest that we should legalize marriage to children on the grounds of not discrimination against those with the sexual orientation of paedophilia.

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How Homosexuality Stretches our Normalcy Fields and why the Future Will Always Feel Boring

In some of my Salvo articles I have used neuroscience to explain how errors and perversions become accepted through the plasticity of our brain structures. (For example, see my articles ‘Sex and the Kiddies’ and ‘The Neuro Transformers’.) But it is also possible to understand the process of normalization through parallels with the way technologies reach us.
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In his fascinating article ‘Welcome to the Future Nauseous,’ Venkatesh Rao describes a phenomenon he termed “manufactured normalcy field.” A normalcy field is essentially the mechanism by which a novelty is incorporated into the larger conceptual metaphors built out of familiar experiences, so that when the novelty finally arrives it seems normal, and sometimes even boring.
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Rao uses the example of the the internet, which was incorporated into our normalcy field by tapping into the document metaphor. By thinking of web pages in terms of documents, the cognitive effort required to assimilate the internet into existing human experience was minimized. The internet might have evolved through other metaphors being stretched to cover it, such as architecture. Imagine, for example, that instead of opening web pages (document metaphor) you went into people’s web houses (architectural metaphor). The actual metaphors we adopted to appreciate what is happening with the internet were governed by that technology’s historical path of descent, and also by the path of least cognitive resistance.
Continue reading

Gay Infertility

In his article CA Legislation Would Require Insurance for Gay “Infertility”,Wesley J. Smith points out that “Legislation has been filed that would require group insurance to cover gay and lesbian infertility treatments just as they do heterosexual. But, as I note elsewhere, AB 460 isn’t limited to a finding of actual infertility. Nor does it require that gays and lesbians have tried to conceive or sire a child using heterosexual means, natural or artificial. Rather–as with heterosexual couples–merely the inability to get pregnant for a year while having active sexual relations is sufficient to demonstrate need for treatment, meaning if the bill becomes law, it would require insurance companies to pay for services such as artificial insemination, surrogacy, etc. for people who are actually fecund. Indeed, since the bill prevents discrimination based on marital or domestic partnership status, theoretically every gay and lesbian in the state could be deemed infertile for purposes of insurance coverage merely by the fact that they don’t wish to engage in heterosexual relations.”

Wow! That sounds like a Salvo fake add. Too bad it’s true.

Marriage: Union of Persons?

In the Question and Answer I did for the American Family Association about same-sex ‘marriage,’ I argued that marriage is not a union of persons, but a specifically sexual union between a man and a woman publically recognized because of its potential fecundity. But this raised a question: how do I know marriage is a union of a man and a woman? How do I know marriage is not simply a union of persons?

To answer this question, I did a Reductio ad absurdum on the opposite view. I asked my readers to consider what it would mean is marriage actually did mean the union of two consenting adults. I explained that there would then be only two options. I quote:
.

The first option would be that while marriage hasn’t always been the union of persons, this is what marriage ought to be now. The second option is that marriage always has been the union of two consenting adults.

If marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman, then saying that this discriminates against same-sex couples would be like saying that a club
which has always been for golf discriminates against tennis players.

Now if both these options are problematic—and I will argue that they are—the only option left is to say that marriage is not a union of persons per se, but the union specifically of a man and a woman.
.
So let me explain why the first option—that while marriage hasn’t always been the union of persons, this is what marriage ought to be now—is so problematic. The problem with saying that marriage ought to mean the union of persons while acknowledging that historically this just hasn’t been the case, is that the whole case for same-sex ‘marriage’ then collapses. This is because 99% of the case for same-sex ‘marriage’ rests on the notion that what is being sought is not a qualitative change to the definition of marriage but simply a quantitative enlargement of the pool of people allowed to marry. But if we acknowledge that up to now the institution of marriage has never meant a union of persons, then that is essentially to concede the argument, since it implies that no one has been discriminating against couples of the same sex any more than they have been discriminating against an individual who wishes to “marry” himself or individuals who might wish to include polyandry in the definition of marriage. If up to now marriage has always meant the union of a man and a woman, then while we might be able to speak of a government discriminating against a black man by denying him the right to marry a white woman, it would not be coherent to talk about government discriminating against people wanting to marry someone of the same sex since such a contingency is incoherent according to the terms of the institution itself. Indeed, if marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman, then saying that this discriminates against same-sex couples would be like saying that a club which has always been for golf discriminates against tennis players. The only way to get around this and to still maintain that marriage has previously referred to a union of a man and a woman would be to simply assert that the definition ought to be changed. That would be like saying that the golf club ought to become a golf-and-tennis-club. But this is not what is being pushed, because if it was, then it would negate the claim that homosexuals have been victims of unequal treatment. In reality they are no more the victims of unequal treatment than tennis players who are told they can only play golf at the golf club.
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The other option left is what I mentioned a minute ago, namely that marriage has not previously referred exclusively to the union of a man and a woman, but that it always has been the union of persons. That would be like someone claiming that the golf club had actually always been a golf-and-tennis club. Now suddenly the issue becomes an empirical question that can be verified on historical grounds. Someone taking this position would need to maintain that the gender of the persons has always been accidental in an Aristotelian sense. But notice what follows — We are then claiming that the union of a man and woman has always been a variant of the union of persons; that biology and the possibility of reproduction were never at the core of what marriage is, but additions to it; that consummation was never central to the completion of a marriage since only practical when the “union of persons” happened to be members of the opposite sex; that “man and wife” were never something that made a relationship a marriage but were always a species of the genus “union of persons.” These are historical claims that we can verify empirically, in the same way as we could verify it if someone claimed the golf club had always been a golf and tennis club.
.
As we look at the facts, we find that this has never been how the institution was understood, even among cultures like ancient Rome, which might have been most inclined to understand marriage as the union of persons. Given the fact that it was only fifty years ago that marriage stopped being understood in conjugal terms, it simply will not do to say that “man and woman” has always been a subset of “persons.” Ergo, those who take the view that marriage always has been the union of persons are pushed into the corner of having to acknowledge that throughout most of human history, the laws, customs, culture and language built up around marriage was based on a misunderstanding of what marriage actually was, for until recently no one understood that marriage has actually always been the union of persons. That would be about as absurd as saying that everyone in the golf club had really belonged to a golf-and-tennis-club or a golf-and-water-sports club or a golf-and-chess-club without realizing it.
.
Let’s be clear, the fact that marriage has never been understood as a union of persons does not itself prove the new concept to be faulty. However, at a minimum it does establish that it is a new concept, a novel definition that is discontinuous with the institution of marriage as it has been understood and practice for thousands of years. This is something the champions of gay marriage are reluctant to acknowledge since their case for “equal access” depends on maintaining some degree of continuity with the norms of an existing institution. They want to appropriate these norms to themselves without having the courage to admit that what they are really doing is restructuring, rearranging and changing the essence of the institution itself.

Consider
what it would mean is marriage actually did mean the union of two
consenting adults. There would then be only two options. The first
option would be that while marriage hasn’t always been the union of
persons, this is what marriage ought to be now. The second option is that marriage always has beenthe union of two consenting adults.Now if both these options are problematic—and I will argue that they
are—the only option left is to say that marriage is not a union of
persons per se, but the union specifically of a man and a woman.

So let me explain why the first option—that while marriage hasn’t
always been the union of persons, this is what marriage ought to be
now—is so problematic. The problem with saying that marriage ought to
mean the union of persons while acknowledging that historically this
just hasn’t been the case, is that the whole case for same-sex ‘marriage’ then collapses.
This is because 99% of the case for same-sex ‘marriage’ rests on the
notion that what is being sought is not a qualitative change to the
definition of marriage but simply a quantitative enlargement of the pool
of people allowed to marry. But if we acknowledge that up to now the
institution of marriage has nevermeant a union of persons, then that is
essentially to concede the argument, since it implies that no one has
been discriminating against couples of the same sex any more than they
have been discriminating against an individual who wishes to “marry”
himself or individuals who might wish to include polyandry in the
definition of marriage. If up to now marriage has always meant the union
of a man and a woman, then while we might be able to speak of a
government discriminating against a black man by denying him the right
to marry a white woman, it would not be coherent to talk about
government discriminating against people wanting to marry someone of the
same sex since such a contingency is incoherent according to the terms of the institution itself.

Indeed, if marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman,
then saying that this discriminates against same-sex couples would be
like saying that a club which has always been for golf discriminates
against tennis players. The only way to get around this and to still
maintain that marriage has previously referred to a union of a man and a
woman would be to simply assert that the definition ought to be
changed. That would be like saying that the golf club ought to become a
golf-and-tennis-club. But this is not what is being pushed, because if
it was, then it would negate the claim that homosexuals have been
victims of unequal treatment. In reality they are no more the victims of
unequal treatment than tennis players who are told they can only play
golf at the golf club.

The other option left is what I mentioned a minute ago, namely that
marriage has not previously referred exclusively to the union of a man
and a woman, but that it always has been the union of persons. That
would be like someone claiming that the golf club had actually always
been a golf-and-tennis club. Now suddenly the issue becomes an empirical
question that can be verified on historical grounds. Someone taking
this position would need to maintain that the gender of the persons has
always been accidental in an Aristotelian sense. But notice what follows
– We are then claiming that the union of a man and woman has always
been a variant of the union of persons; that biology and the possibility
of reproduction were never at the core of what marriage is, but
additions to it; that consummation was never central to the completion
of a marriage since only practical when the “union of persons” happened
to be members of the opposite sex; that “man and wife” were never
something that made a relationship a marriage but were always a species
of the genus “union of persons.” These are historical claims that we can
verify empirically, in the same way as we could verify it if someone
claimed the golf club had always been a golf and tennis club.

As we look at the facts, we find that this has never been how the
institution was understood, even among cultures like ancient Rome, which
might have been most inclined to understand marriage as the union of
persons. Given the fact that it was only fifty years ago that marriage
stopped being understood in conjugal terms, it simply will not do to say
that “man and woman” has always been a subset of “persons.” Ergo, those
who take the view that marriage always has been the union of persons
are pushed into the corner of having to acknowledge that throughout most
of human history, the laws, customs, culture and language built up
around marriage was based on a misunderstanding of what marriage
actually was, for until recently no one understood that marriage has
actually always been the union of persons. That would be about as absurd
as saying that everyone in the golf club had really belonged to a
golf-and-tennis-club or a golf-and-water-sports club or a
golf-and-chess-club without realizing it.

Let’s be clear, the fact that marriage has never been understood as a
union of persons does not itself prove the new concept to be faulty.
However, at a minimum it does establish that it is a new concept, a
novel definition that is discontinuous with the institution of marriage
as it has been understood and practice for thousands of years. This is
something the champions of gay marriage are reluctant to acknowledge
since their case for “equal access” depends on maintaining some degree
of continuity with the norms of an existing institution. They want to
appropriate these norms to themselves without having the courage to
admit that what they are really doing is restructuring, rearranging and
changing the essence of the institution itself.

- See more at: http://instantanalysis.net/afa-blogs/2013/04/04/qa-about-same-sex-marriage#sthash.Q6yhveq2.dpuf

Consider
what it would mean is marriage actually did mean the union of two
consenting adults. There would then be only two options. The first
option would be that while marriage hasn’t always been the union of
persons, this is what marriage ought to be now. The second option is that marriage always has beenthe union of two consenting adults.Now if both these options are problematic—and I will argue that they
are—the only option left is to say that marriage is not a union of
persons per se, but the union specifically of a man and a woman.

So let me explain why the first option—that while marriage hasn’t
always been the union of persons, this is what marriage ought to be
now—is so problematic. The problem with saying that marriage ought to
mean the union of persons while acknowledging that historically this
just hasn’t been the case, is that the whole case for same-sex ‘marriage’ then collapses.
This is because 99% of the case for same-sex ‘marriage’ rests on the
notion that what is being sought is not a qualitative change to the
definition of marriage but simply a quantitative enlargement of the pool
of people allowed to marry. But if we acknowledge that up to now the
institution of marriage has nevermeant a union of persons, then that is
essentially to concede the argument, since it implies that no one has
been discriminating against couples of the same sex any more than they
have been discriminating against an individual who wishes to “marry”
himself or individuals who might wish to include polyandry in the
definition of marriage. If up to now marriage has always meant the union
of a man and a woman, then while we might be able to speak of a
government discriminating against a black man by denying him the right
to marry a white woman, it would not be coherent to talk about
government discriminating against people wanting to marry someone of the
same sex since such a contingency is incoherent according to the terms of the institution itself.

Indeed, if marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman,
then saying that this discriminates against same-sex couples would be
like saying that a club which has always been for golf discriminates
against tennis players. The only way to get around this and to still
maintain that marriage has previously referred to a union of a man and a
woman would be to simply assert that the definition ought to be
changed. That would be like saying that the golf club ought to become a
golf-and-tennis-club. But this is not what is being pushed, because if
it was, then it would negate the claim that homosexuals have been
victims of unequal treatment. In reality they are no more the victims of
unequal treatment than tennis players who are told they can only play
golf at the golf club.

The other option left is what I mentioned a minute ago, namely that
marriage has not previously referred exclusively to the union of a man
and a woman, but that it always has been the union of persons. That
would be like someone claiming that the golf club had actually always
been a golf-and-tennis club. Now suddenly the issue becomes an empirical
question that can be verified on historical grounds. Someone taking
this position would need to maintain that the gender of the persons has
always been accidental in an Aristotelian sense. But notice what follows
– We are then claiming that the union of a man and woman has always
been a variant of the union of persons; that biology and the possibility
of reproduction were never at the core of what marriage is, but
additions to it; that consummation was never central to the completion
of a marriage since only practical when the “union of persons” happened
to be members of the opposite sex; that “man and wife” were never
something that made a relationship a marriage but were always a species
of the genus “union of persons.” These are historical claims that we can
verify empirically, in the same way as we could verify it if someone
claimed the golf club had always been a golf and tennis club.

As we look at the facts, we find that this has never been how the
institution was understood, even among cultures like ancient Rome, which
might have been most inclined to understand marriage as the union of
persons. Given the fact that it was only fifty years ago that marriage
stopped being understood in conjugal terms, it simply will not do to say
that “man and woman” has always been a subset of “persons.” Ergo, those
who take the view that marriage always has been the union of persons
are pushed into the corner of having to acknowledge that throughout most
of human history, the laws, customs, culture and language built up
around marriage was based on a misunderstanding of what marriage
actually was, for until recently no one understood that marriage has
actually always been the union of persons. That would be about as absurd
as saying that everyone in the golf club had really belonged to a
golf-and-tennis-club or a golf-and-water-sports club or a
golf-and-chess-club without realizing it.

Let’s be clear, the fact that marriage has never been understood as a
union of persons does not itself prove the new concept to be faulty.
However, at a minimum it does establish that it is a new concept, a
novel definition that is discontinuous with the institution of marriage
as it has been understood and practice for thousands of years. This is
something the champions of gay marriage are reluctant to acknowledge
since their case for “equal access” depends on maintaining some degree
of continuity with the norms of an existing institution. They want to
appropriate these norms to themselves without having the courage to
admit that what they are really doing is restructuring, rearranging and
changing the essence of the institution itself.

- See more at: http://instantanalysis.net/afa-blogs/2013/04/04/qa-about-same-sex-marriage#sthash.Q6yhveq2.dpuf

Consider
what it would mean is marriage actually did mean the union of two
consenting adults. There would then be only two options. The first
option would be that while marriage hasn’t always been the union of
persons, this is what marriage ought to be now. The second option is that marriage always has beenthe union of two consenting adults.Now if both these options are problematic—and I will argue that they
are—the only option left is to say that marriage is not a union of
persons per se, but the union specifically of a man and a woman.

So let me explain why the first option—that while marriage hasn’t
always been the union of persons, this is what marriage ought to be
now—is so problematic. The problem with saying that marriage ought to
mean the union of persons while acknowledging that historically this
just hasn’t been the case, is that the whole case for same-sex ‘marriage’ then collapses.
This is because 99% of the case for same-sex ‘marriage’ rests on the
notion that what is being sought is not a qualitative change to the
definition of marriage but simply a quantitative enlargement of the pool
of people allowed to marry. But if we acknowledge that up to now the
institution of marriage has nevermeant a union of persons, then that is
essentially to concede the argument, since it implies that no one has
been discriminating against couples of the same sex any more than they
have been discriminating against an individual who wishes to “marry”
himself or individuals who might wish to include polyandry in the
definition of marriage. If up to now marriage has always meant the union
of a man and a woman, then while we might be able to speak of a
government discriminating against a black man by denying him the right
to marry a white woman, it would not be coherent to talk about
government discriminating against people wanting to marry someone of the
same sex since such a contingency is incoherent according to the terms of the institution itself.

Indeed, if marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman,
then saying that this discriminates against same-sex couples would be
like saying that a club which has always been for golf discriminates
against tennis players. The only way to get around this and to still
maintain that marriage has previously referred to a union of a man and a
woman would be to simply assert that the definition ought to be
changed. That would be like saying that the golf club ought to become a
golf-and-tennis-club. But this is not what is being pushed, because if
it was, then it would negate the claim that homosexuals have been
victims of unequal treatment. In reality they are no more the victims of
unequal treatment than tennis players who are told they can only play
golf at the golf club.

The other option left is what I mentioned a minute ago, namely that
marriage has not previously referred exclusively to the union of a man
and a woman, but that it always has been the union of persons. That
would be like someone claiming that the golf club had actually always
been a golf-and-tennis club. Now suddenly the issue becomes an empirical
question that can be verified on historical grounds. Someone taking
this position would need to maintain that the gender of the persons has
always been accidental in an Aristotelian sense. But notice what follows
– We are then claiming that the union of a man and woman has always
been a variant of the union of persons; that biology and the possibility
of reproduction were never at the core of what marriage is, but
additions to it; that consummation was never central to the completion
of a marriage since only practical when the “union of persons” happened
to be members of the opposite sex; that “man and wife” were never
something that made a relationship a marriage but were always a species
of the genus “union of persons.” These are historical claims that we can
verify empirically, in the same way as we could verify it if someone
claimed the golf club had always been a golf and tennis club.

As we look at the facts, we find that this has never been how the
institution was understood, even among cultures like ancient Rome, which
might have been most inclined to understand marriage as the union of
persons. Given the fact that it was only fifty years ago that marriage
stopped being understood in conjugal terms, it simply will not do to say
that “man and woman” has always been a subset of “persons.” Ergo, those
who take the view that marriage always has been the union of persons
are pushed into the corner of having to acknowledge that throughout most
of human history, the laws, customs, culture and language built up
around marriage was based on a misunderstanding of what marriage
actually was, for until recently no one understood that marriage has
actually always been the union of persons. That would be about as absurd
as saying that everyone in the golf club had really belonged to a
golf-and-tennis-club or a golf-and-water-sports club or a
golf-and-chess-club without realizing it.

Let’s be clear, the fact that marriage has never been understood as a
union of persons does not itself prove the new concept to be faulty.
However, at a minimum it does establish that it is a new concept, a
novel definition that is discontinuous with the institution of marriage
as it has been understood and practice for thousands of years. This is
something the champions of gay marriage are reluctant to acknowledge
since their case for “equal access” depends on maintaining some degree
of continuity with the norms of an existing institution. They want to
appropriate these norms to themselves without having the courage to
admit that what they are really doing is restructuring, rearranging and
changing the essence of the institution itself.

- See more at: http://instantanalysis.net/afa-blogs/2013/04/04/qa-about-same-sex-marriage#sthash.Q6yhveq2.dpuf